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Illegal operations cause major power outage in Orange Farm (South of Joburg)
Thursday, 16 April 2020: Eskom is aware of extended power supply interruptions affecting Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg. The power supply interruption occurred when the transformer was overloaded by community members who indiscriminately continue to bypass their meters, illegally connect themselves to the network, and vandalise the electricity infrastructure.
A week ago, illegal operators in Orange Farm attempted to reconnect themselves to the electricity infrastructure, and that caused a power outage affecting approximately 700 customers. Eskom dispatched technicians to restore supply only to be obstructed by the illegal operators in the form of retaliation from a large number of the community members. Eskom was left with no option but to suspend the operation and safely evacuate its staff.
“It is regrettable that our efforts to provide reliable electricity service are often disrupted and undermined by individuals who do not pay for their services. We have an obligation to  provide services,  yet keep our staff safe,  run our operations efficiently, collect revenue for services provided and safeguard our infrastructure,” said Motlhabane Ramashi,  Senior Manager, Maintenance and Operations, Gauteng.
“These extended outages were mainly caused by resistance on the part of the community as they obstructed us from conducting audits.  Eskom has relentlessly engaged with community representatives in the affected areas. We have engaged with the City of Joburg together with Orange Farm community representatives on Wednesday, 15 April 2020, and agreed to resume with operations to establish the state of the network, the scope of work to repair and replace vandalised infrastructure.  We will resume restoration of supply as soon as is declared safe, and taking into consideration the possible resources and material constraints”, concluded Ramashi.